Conference play is finally here! Outside of the Stanford-USC blow out last week, us West Coasters haven't had a chance to see how our squads rank up against our regional rivals. All that changes Friday night as USC heads up to Utah, and outside of Oregon State, nothing but conference games are on the slate!
USC Trojans @ #24 Utah Utes (-3)Friday Utah is coming into the game 3-point favorites, and I can't seem to figure out why. USC is coming in with a 1-2 mark, looking abysmal against Alabama and Stanford, albeit both are top 10 sides. However, the games just weren't close at all.
While Utah's competition has been sub-par, best being Brigham Young, which they won due to a failed two point-conversion, they are hosting this outing. Not to mention, a top tier defense that should be licking their chops to get to Sam Darnold, making his first collegiate start.
Pick: Utah 27-14
Boise State (-13) @ Oregon State The Beavers ended a year long skid and are coming off a win, aiming for their first two game win streak since a three game streak to start 2014, while the Broncos are coming off a bye and are two weeks removed from a 3 point victory against the Washington State Cougars.
Despite Oregon State's improvements, and they are much improved, I can not see them sticking with the Broncos, even in Corvallis, though they will keep it close for the first 45 minutes or so, before Boise State runs away with it.
Pick: Boise State 37-20
Colorado @ Oregon (-10.5) The Buffalo's gave the Michigan Wolverines quite a scare in the Big House, before Michigan ran away with it. And like the Beavers, they are much improved. Senior QB, Sefo Liufau is a game-time decision, and without him, Colorado doesn't stand much of a time.
Oregon is just as banged up, coming off a close loss in Nebraska, thanks to questionable calling on potential PAT attempts. Back in the familiar confines of Autzen, the Ducks should take this game.
Pick: Oregon 38-20
#7 Stanford (-3.0) @ UCLA Stanford are the Pac-12's big boys. They demolished USC and are already 1-0 in conference play. They won the conference last year. Christian McCaffrey is Christian McCaffrey. They hold a eight game win streak over UCLA and are coming in favorites.
UCLA isn't having the great season it though it would. Rosen is still learning, and no one has emerged as a legit wide receiver option. This game will end up one of two ways, a Stanford brutal blow-out, as the norm, or UCLA will fight and edge it out. I like the home field advantage here.
Pick: UCLA 27-24
California @ Arizona State (-4) If you are a fan of high scoring games that provide absolutely no defense, this is the one to watch. ASU beat Texas Tech 68-55 earlier in the year, with Kalen Ballage scoring 8 touch downs, while the Golden Bears have given up 40 twice, and 31 in the other game.
Pick: Cal 54-49
#9 Washington (-9) @ Arizona The Huskies head off to the Old Pueblo and face off against Rich Rod and his retooling Wildcats squad. The Huskies have been blowing out everybody and expect that to continue in Tucson, though the Wildcats will be pesky for the first half.